The Glasgow Guardian chats to two young independent film professionals about representation, accessibility and content creation.
Based in Glasgow, but originally from Brazil and the Basque country respectively, Indigo Korres and Leo Torre have just launched Changing the Frame, a podcast highlighting the experiences of trans and non-binary people within the film industry. Indigo specialises in curation and programming (especially of independent and low budget films), while Leo is a journalist, filmmaker and media artist who focuses on the fragmentation and layering of queer identities in film. Their aim is to provide a safe space to have open conversations, and create an online archive of trans and non-binary artists in real time.
Asking the pair what drove the podcast forward, they both highlighted the sense of community forging between trans and non-binary filmmakers. Indigo remarked: “talking to filmmakers brings that spark [for inspiration], it’s really a collective process”. As an independent filmmaker, Leo highlighted that most of his knowledge comes from hands-on doing and learning, which often consists of “running around with the camera and just trying to do stuff you don’t know”, and treating filmmaking as a game to experiment and have fun with. Indigo, meanwhile, relishes coming together with other artists that are struggling and working through these problems together. The pair also reflected on the mystified ideal of being a filmmaker, admitting that most of the process is “a lot of boring work that needs to be done”. This is made even more true when you’re an independent artist and you don’t have a big team behind you. “You’re the director, the writer, the actor… everything, you know?”, said Indigo.
Moving onto discussion of the film industry, Indigo highlighted that diversity and inclusion still have a long way to go. She expressed her disappointment in film festivals claiming that they were completely accessible by merely adding closed captions, forgetting that different disabilities require different measures, whether that be BSL interpreters, live captioners of the event, or wheelchair accessibility. Leo also said that on-screen change is not forthcoming while the industry remains over-focused on cis gay men, while cancelling sapphic shows. He decidedly advocates for taking matters into your own hands, writing and delivering the stories you want to see on screen yourself. However, Leo and Indigo’s financial situation affects their ability to pursue all the projects they would like to. The fact they are trans and non-binary means they have to prioritise their medical and legal transitioning costs, adding further barriers to their creative process. Leo said: “If there’s a hypothetical setting in which I had any amount of money to do my dream, the first point for me is not even related to filmmaking: it’s related to my transitioning.”
I asked them about future collaborations they wanted to bring to life on the podcast, and they mentioned Janet Mock, Dominique Jackson, Linda Quebrada and MJ Rodriguez. They also want to expand, mainly interviewing directors so far, but eagerly wanting to reach out to captioners, film curators, writers and actors. They have also focused on interviewing Scottish and British artists so far, but Indigo said that they are starting to reach out to more international film professionals: “If we’re trying to share the stories of people sharing their own more local intersectional stories, we need to branch out”.Always striving to improve, Indigo and Leo have transcripts of all of their episodes uploaded onto their website, as they want to make their podcast more accessible. Their commitment to progressivism, inclusion and social justice is genuine and admirable, but there is still a large amount of work that needs to be done to actualise those ideals in the film industry.